Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I have spent a great deal of time this March working on a proposed amendment to the County Code for Preschool For All. Specifically, I am asking the Board of County Commissioners to remove the following sentence from the Code:
11.514 (B) Independent performance audits will be conducted on the use of funds generated by the Preschool For All Personal Income Tax.

I am asking the Board to remove this language because it isn’t needed; the County Charter already requires the County Auditor to conduct performance audits of all county operations and financial affairs, which includes Preschool For All.

The Board of County Commissioners will hear the first reading of this amendment on April 4. At that time, they can either pass the amendment to a second reading or prevent it from moving forward. 

I ask you to please send an email by April 3 at 5 p.m. to the Board stating that you support the amendment that will remove 11.514(B) from the Code. Please send your message to the and CC

I have developed a Q&A about why I am proposing this amendment now and why it is needed. I invite you to read it here, and to reach out to me with any questions. 

Thank you,

Good Government Hotline Annual Report 2023

Good Government Hotline Annual Report

Each year, we report to you on the activities of the Good Government Hotline. Our report on 2023 came out on March 1st. In 2023, reports from employees increased by 83%, while the number of reports from community members reached an all-time high. Learn more about the complaints we received and investigations we conducted in the hotline annual report.

Community Engagement

Photo description: On March 26, Multnomah County Auditor's Office toured "Black Artists of Oregon" exhibit at the Portland Art Museum, the tour was led by Portland Art Museum Director of Philanthropy John Goodwin, the second person on the left, and Auditor's Office left to right, Auditor Jennifer McGuirk, Mandi Hood (third person to left), Mical Yohannes, Sura Sumareh, and Dani Bernstein.

Auditor's Office staff Raymond De Silva, Dani Bernstein, Sura Sumareh, Mandi Hood, Mical Yohannes, and I had an opportunity to tour Portland Art Museum’s Black Artists of Oregon exhibit this month. Sura and Mical shared some reflections from the exhibit: 

As we move from Black History Month to Women’s History Month, this is a great opportunity to highlight the Portland Art Museum’s Black Artists of Oregon exhibit. Black Artists of Oregon is the culmination of decades of research by the exhibit curator Intisar Abioto to share the legacy of Black artists in shaping Oregon’s history. This collection recognizes and celebrates Oregon’s local Black artists, elders, women, and young artists. Black women are featured prominently in this collection including, Thelma Johnson Streat, Charlotte Lewis, Adriene Cruz, Sadé DuBoise, and many others.

Sadé DuBoise photo by Nora Colie/OPB
Sadé DuBoise photo by Nora Colie/OPB

Meet Sadé DuBoise a young black artist, visionary, and storyteller who considers her practice a sacred place to reflect on her identity, existence, and life experiences. DuBoise was born in North Portland but currently resides in Tigard, Oregon. Sadé DuBoise focuses her art on the stories of Black Women, creating powerful portraits against a backdrop of Oregon Landscape. DuBoise has exhibited at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Portland State University and was recently highlighted in OPB Oregon Art Beat.

Adriene Cruz photo by Adriene Cruz/artist website
Adriene Cruz photo by Adriene Cruz/artist website

Adriene Cruz is a Harlem native who relocated to Portland, Oregon where she explored quilting at the Oregon School of Art and Craft. Adriene’s creative vision was deeply influenced by her mother’s creative use of color and the rich cultural influences of her childhood community. Her creativity has allowed her to flow from textile creations to concrete fabrications. Adriene garnered invitations both locally and internationally to showcase her talent. She was invited to create public art in Portland, she has also exhibited internationally in Brazil, Costa Rica, and South Africa. 

We want to thank Intisar Abioto for curating this collection as an opportunity to reflect on Oregon's history of Black exclusion and providing this powerful example of the using art as a tool for truth telling. You can learn more about all the artists featured in the Black Artists of Oregon exhibit on the Portland Art Museum website.

As part of our office’s recent design, we also added the painting “Surulere” by local Black artist Isaka Shamsud-Din, whose other paintings are featured in this collection. This is part of our larger effort to ensure our office is welcoming for all Multnomah County residents and reflects the skilled artists and diversity of our community. We also want to thank the Portland Art Museum for welcoming our office to engage with this exhibit and the Regional Art and Culture Council’s Public Art Collections team for lending art from their collection to share in our office.  Urban League for All of Us Community Conversation 2024-03

Photo description from left to right: Panelists Mari Valencia Aguilar, Senior Housing Planner at the Department of Land Conservation and Development; Trell Anderson, Executive Director of Northwest Housing Alternatives; Dominique Merriweather, Executive Director of Proud Ground; event host Jennifer Parrish Taylor, Director of Advocacy & Public Policy at the Urban League of Portland; and moderator Kimberly Bacon, Associate Director of Emergency Services at the Urban League of Portland.

On March 22, I virtually attended the Urban League for All of Us Community Conversation event at Mt. Hood Community College. The focus of the conversation was Addressing Housing Affordability Through Oregon’s Housing Production Strategies. The panelists shared a lot of important information about our local land use history, how it led to the displacement of BIPOC community members, and what strategies can be used now to create equitable housing development. Amid their discussion of strategies and Oregon’s local government housing production strategy, the panelists raised critical concepts like land back movements and truth and reconciliation processes. The panelists also raised important questions that our communities should explore further, such as: What does a housing production strategy look like that is community centered and community driven? How can government land that is being underutilized be repurposed? 

Photo description: Executive Director Amanda Ireland-Esquivel of True Colors Recovery, Oregon's first LGBTQIAS+ recovery organization speaks on "Finding Purpose and Embracing Visibility", at Women's History Month recurring talk series.

Oregon has a rich history of women leaders who have made significant contributions to Multnomah County and state as a whole. For Women's History Month, we are uplifting the present contributions of women of color from our local community. On March 16, Raymond De Silva, Constituent Relations and DEI Engagement Specialist attended a Women's History Month recurring series talk called "This is She", at Lan Su Chinese Garden. The featured speaker, Amanda Ireland-Esquivel, a woman of Hispanic heritage, shared her story of overcoming incarceration, addiction, and homelessness to co-found True Colors Recovery. As a result, she has dedicated her life to serve local LGBTQIAS+ community recovery members, by creating safe spaces and developing best practices for gender specific care. The event was an inspiring reminder that we are more than enough. She emphasized in her presentation an empowering phrase, "I am enough, as I am." By embracing our identities and discovering our purpose, we can serve our communities with pride and make a positive impact in the lives of others. 

County Community Involvement Committee’s Budget Engagement Subcommittee

On March 21, Principal Auditor Mark Ulanowicz and Management Auditor Sura Sumareh met with members of the county’s Community Involvement Committee’s Budget Engagement Subcommittee to talk about our office’s work and recommendations from our audit report called. Multnomah County Budget Process Audit: County needs better reporting on expenditures and more time for community involvement. The subcommittee is also developing recommendations to support community involvement in the county’s budget process. We appreciated the chance to talk with them about our work and learn about their efforts. 

If you’d like me and or staff to attend or speak at a meeting with your community group, simply fill out this form.